Wesley L. Townsend
September 6, 1926 – February 16, 2021
“Thank God! Death has no terrors for me.” - Capt. William Mosby Eastland
Wesley Lorance Townsend, 94, of Smithville, Texas, passed away Tuesday, February 16th, 2021 at his home in Marlin, Texas. Wesley was born in Smithville, Texas to Pink “Pinky” Townsend and Gladys Donnell Townsend on September 6th, 1926. He was the eldest of their two children. Immediately upon graduating from Smithville High School, Class of 1944, he enlisted in the Armed Forces, and joined the Navy serving on the White Plains Aircraft Carrier during World War II from February 8th, 1944 to May 8th, 1946. Working on the Naval Aircraft Carriers inspired Wesley to go on to obtain his pilot’s license. He loved to fly and did so with his lifelong best friend, Arthur Allen, and Dr. H.L. Smith for many years. Along with his passion for flying, he was a lifelong Baylor Bear and Dallas Cowboy fan, and could be found avidly watching their games after church on Sundays. After completing his tour of duty and finishing his military career, Wesley was discharged from the Navy with full honors. He returned to Smithville, where he worked for a short stint as a deliveryman for a bread company before, ultimately, going on to his true career with the Katy Railroad on June 30th 1948. The Katy Railroad was steeped with family history in both the Townsend and Donnell families. During his time in Smithville he worked as a switchman, then transferring to Bellmead, Texas, where he continued his career and was eventually promoted to Yardmaster. His coworkers lovingly referred to him as “Willie” or “Uncle Will.” Wesley retired from the railroad on November 15th, 1989. For the 42 years of his career he would drive his cherished aquamarine colored 1957 Chevy Bel Air to and from work. Sometime after moving to Bellmead, he met the love of his life, Jimmie Jessie Brunson, of Marlin, Texas, at a local dance hall, and the two fell very quickly in love and married on December 23rd, 1956. They celebrated 64 years of marriage this last December. They had two daughters, Suzann and Judy Townsend. Wesley went on to join his wife’s church, now known as the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, he was a member for over 63 years. He was called into the priesthood, serving as a Priest, and later as an Elder in 1970. He was the Pastor of the Marlin Branch for several years. Wesley was an avid member of the church choir, where he was known for his beautiful tenor and his moving renditions of “How Great Thou Art.” After his retirement, Wesley and Jimmie moved to Blue Springs, Missouri where they immersed themselves in the church, but he dearly missed the railroad, and so he took a job with the United Transportation Union in Kansas City, where he served as a limousine driver, transporting railroad workers from job sites to their accommodations. Wesley was a very loving and devoted husband, father, and grandfather, who will be dearly missed by everyone that knew him. Wesley is preceded in death by his parents, Pink Townsend and Gladys Donnell Townsend, his brother, Lloyd V Townsend “Bubba” and his grandson, Timothy Ray Wesley is survived by his wife, Jimmie Brunson Townsend; His children: Diana Kroger and husband Bill, Suzann Townsend Ray and husband Ron, Judy Elizabeth Townsend Brown and husband Jason; his grandchildren: Jamison Townsend, Zackery Erwin, Kylar Thompson, Jase Ray and wife Macie, Morgan Ray, Jentri Sneed and husband Bradley, Madison Polk and husband Chance; his great grandchildren: Kindzi Erwin, Lexi Townsend, Ty Erwin, Landri Elam, Ayden Kelly, Aden Polk, Addilyn Polk, Mabry Sneed, and Ellie Ray.
Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord - Matthew 25:21
Memorial Service will be held Saturday, March 20th, 2021 at 2:00pm at The First Baptist Church in Marlin, Texas.
Celebration of Life
Saturday, March 20, 2021
Wesley L. Townsend
March 25, 2021
I fondly remember Wesley from when we attended church together in Marlin. He always had a warm welcome for me and my family when we entered the church sanctuary. He and I shared the love of music, especially How Great Thou Art and I was moved everytime he sang it. Wesley loved the gospel music and the message it brought forth. My heart and prayers go out to the entire family and may you rest in peace with the grace of GOD until we rest High on the Mountain my brother in Christ may GOD bless you my brother in Christ
March 18, 2021
I love you all so many memories ,